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Panasonic's VideoCam Suite s/w problems - what's the latest?

by elf.elf.baby / October 18, 2008 11:31 AM PDT

I was all set to buy a Panasonic SDR-H60, (see my pre-record question, pah-lease) and then found all these posts about the horrors of the software. As a programmer, I figure either it's user error or a completely irresponsible manufacturer, one beyond belief. The only similar example I have ever seen was when eBay forced everyone to switch from TurboLister 1 to 2.
Anyway, is this still the software from hell? It hasn't been updated since May of 2007, apparently, which would give one pause.
If I were planning to only use SD cards, couldn't I just take them out of the camera, put them in my laptop and/or desktop's SD reader, and move them manually? I actually have no interest in the HDD. Has anyone done this?
Thank you.

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info from Panasonic about all this...
by elf.elf.baby / October 20, 2008 9:17 AM PDT

Panasonic says that VideoCam Suite 1.0 is it. No updates are planned. The manual says it does not work with current fully updated XP Pro or XP Home versions, nor at all with XP Media Center. This is INSANITY. The software pre-dates the current crop of cameras by a year, and pre-dates XP current service packs also by a year or so.

But they also say that the software is strictly for connecting the camera to a PC, not for editing files. Effectively they're saying that if you have a current version of Windows XP, you can't get your files off the camcorders' hard drive. However, if you record to SD or SDHC, and have a reader hooked up, you can use Windows Explorer to transfer to the PC, and then watch them or edit them with other software or whatever. They said you might have to change the extension from .mov (?) to .mpg.

I suppose the lack of compatibility with current Windows XP versions (not counting Vista) could be the problem so many people seem to have, though they don't report it that way.

Can anyone shed some more light on this, from first-hand experience? Thank you.

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patch
by smokinbbq / November 17, 2009 10:25 AM PST

I get started to have the problem discribed went to Panasonic found patch, works okay now.

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panasonic software
by tony1hump / November 30, 2009 10:48 PM PST

I have a panasonic SDR-H40 camcorder, I have been trying to use the VideoCam Suite 1.0software but it doesn't work. Any one got any ideas of software that will work.

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Problems with my SDR-H40
by werbs / June 20, 2011 4:32 AM PDT

I have been going round and round with Panasonic about their VideoCam Suite 2.0.
I have been bothe in their web site and on the phone numerous times and completely
exasperated!
I have had this Camcorder since 2008 and was sent VideoCam suite 2.0.
Evidently once service pack 3 was installed, my days of creating a DVD on my computer are over.
I do have a VHS/DVD recorder that makes it easy to convert to DVD, but I really wanted to use my computer!!!!!

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I have had a few camcorders over the years.
by boya84 / October 20, 2008 1:35 PM PDT

I have never installed or used the software that came in the box with the camcorder. What functionality are you expecting to get from the software provided by Panasonic that other readily available software cannot provide?

No, I have not specifically used a Panasonic HDD camcorder. I have used miniDV tape (Canon, Panasonic, Sony), Sony HDD and DVD based camcorders. I have copied/edited video from a Canon PowerShot750. I have imported and edited video from a full sized VHS RCA shoulder mount camcorder I currently use a couple of Sony high definition miniDV tape camcorders. I have never used any software provided by the camcorder manufacturer. I have not had to specifically purchased any software for editing either - I chose to buy more because of the additional features I wanted. The software bundled with my personal computers was a great place to start.

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The major issue is the several vastly different stories...
by elf.elf.baby / October 20, 2008 10:27 PM PDT

Panasonic email support, Panasonic tech support, their web site and the SDR-H60 manual, and a salesman at a decent store all tell you something different. Different enough to scare you (me) away from buying any camera using that software.
Examples of the differences:
1. The latest update is May 2008, or it's May 2007, depending where you look on P's website
2. The software is only used for transferring HDD files to the PC, but the SD files can be transferred by using Windows Explorer (tech support) vs both kinds of files can only be transferred using VC 1.0. (Email support)
3. Panasonic knows of no issues with VC1.0 requiring reinstallation of Windows (email support) vs. reports on this forum that tech support advises this
4. SDR-H60 manual specifies non-current XP SP versions, tech support confirms that more current SPs will not work. Salesman points to web site where just XP and Vista are listed, no SPs mentioned at all, as evidence that all SPs work, even presumably XP Media Center. .
5. Tech support says VC1.0 is only for file retrieval, not editing. I haven't asked anyone else about that.

It doesn't give a very good impression of Panasonic, though I have no basic for comparison on camcorders.
I'm waiting for a couple more email support replies. Sad

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But if you don't use it,
by boya84 / October 20, 2008 10:54 PM PDT

you don't need it. And if you can still get the job done, does it really matter?

I drive a car with XM/AM/FM radio - The traffic system was never accurate and I never listened to XM so I did not renew the subscription. Having that feature was not the reason I bought the car. Not having it doesn't reduce the utility of the auto - I just use something else for accurate traffic info.

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Converting MOV files to WMV to use in Windows Moviemaker.
by HDD User / November 9, 2008 6:55 PM PST

I have recently purchased a SDR60, The frustration I have been forced to endure due to the incompatability of the software for this dam camera and Windows just beggers beleaf.
However, I can confirm I have got round the problem by using a program by [PRISM] which converts the files from MOV to WMV.
I now use this program to great effect/satisfaction.
But NO thanks to Panasonic, I am just one of the millions of customers that purchase their products and I feel they have let us down BIG-TIME.
Its all very well saying that you use the Video Suit programe but I cant get that to work and stay with Windows Moviemaker to build my films.
Even the Manager of the local shop I use has the same problem and rang Panasonic UK direct. All they could offer was change the MOV file so that was what I have to do, Its messy and unnessary and time wasting but it does workout.
After all this I like using my new Camera.

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SDR-H60
by jaredcarbone / December 28, 2008 6:36 AM PST

I purchased a Panasonic H60 with Video Cam Suite v1.0. Unfortunately I did not check this forum first and did not know about the damn problem with XP. I would like to know what program you got from [Prism] and how to use Windows Moviemaker to get the video off my camcorder and convert the files to wmv. I'm not incredibly tech savy so I really appreciate your help.

-J

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Same problem
by heysavoy / December 28, 2008 9:57 AM PST
In reply to: SDR-H60

I ahve the same question.

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It is the same response...
by boya84 / December 28, 2008 10:28 AM PST
In reply to: SDR-H60

The software included with the camcorders is pretty useless (no, I don't know why they keep including it - perhaps it is useful for someone)...

When you connect the hard disc drive (or flash memory) camcorder with a USB cable to your computer's USB port and put the camcorder in Play mode, it should show up as a just another mass-storage device. Copy the video data files.

Download and install a video converter. I like HandBrake.
http://handbrake.fr/

Launch HandBrake and convert the video data files to a format your video editor likes. MovieMaker likes .avi and .wmv files.

When the conversion is complete, quit HandBrake.

Launch your video editor. Name the video project file; select the destination directory on your hard drive. When the video editor window appears, drag the converted file to the log/capture or "collections" or clips pane... or drag it to the timeline...

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Thanks
by heysavoy / December 28, 2008 2:22 PM PST

Thanks for the info. One more question.

I did get handbrake downloaded but when it asks me for a :source: and then I open an SDVideo file like PRGOOD and then open that file I have 10-15 different movie files like MOV00A and MOVOOB, etc. in EACH of my files (PRGOOD, PRGOOE, PRGOOF, etc.) That's 50-75 movie files. Do I have to do each one of them one at a time???? UGHHH!

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That is because of the way
by boya84 / December 28, 2008 11:30 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

digital files are created: Each time you press Record/Stop = one file. There is no "pause".

There may be some "duplication" you do not need to worry about - some of those "supplementary" files are index files and audio. Try a few and see what you get...

My version of HandBrake allows me to "batch process"... Macintosh version 0.9.1... I hope I did not incorrectly presume the cross-platform versions do not have similar capabilities...

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Thanks again
by heysavoy / December 29, 2008 11:13 PM PST

Thanks again for all your help. I was able to succesfully transfer and convert the files but I lost a lot of quality when doing so.

I thought perhaps it was a Service pak 3 problem with windows (I have Windows XP Media Center Edition). I spent two hours with a dell tech deleting SP3 and still had the same issue with Panasonic's software. I also tried the other suggestions shown on these replies including Video Compatability tool. Nothing worked!!!

I am DONE with this camera!

I am picking up a new Sony today. Thankfully my local retailer is working with me to exchange.

My advice is simple ---- Do Not BUY this camera until the software supports all Windows programs which I don't think is too much to ask considering how readily available it is to so many people.

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Sorry you had to go through this
by boya84 / December 29, 2008 11:23 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks again

Your experience is not surprising (or anything new). Consumer DVD based camcorders were not designed to capture video to be edited and the software supplied by the manufacturers is generally not useful, not require and not used.

For editing (even just "a little") or uploading - or otherwise any sort of requirement to get video from the camcorder to a computer, best video quality continues to come from miniDV tape. Flash memory and hard disc drive (HDD) are a close second.

Transfer methods are different (firewire for miniDV and USB for HDD and flash memory); pros and cons for each of the media depending on your requirements...

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Spot the irony - and a Ulead question...
by gravenhead / April 19, 2009 4:35 AM PDT

I agree with this; I didn't know that Panasonic had as great a flair for irony as Monty Python. In the manual they state: "your images/files may not download or run with software not provided by Panasonic," spectacularly omitting to mention that their own isn't that much cop, either.

I have just paid a guy

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My best solution
by Speed1964 / August 24, 2009 6:13 PM PDT

Excuseme If I don't explain so clair, because I don't speak english well, but let me try that I did to solve this problem. First I installed a Virtual Machine(VMware Workstation 6.5.1) in miy Pc(64 bits) . Second, I installed a Windows Vista home basic(32 bits) or Windows XP Sp2 (32bits) on it., depending of what Operative sistem do you have in your real machine. And finally I could installed the Videocam suit in the Virtual Machine and everything was ok. I could transfer all my videos of the camera Panasonic to the pc very easy The only inconvenient is that you need to transfer the videos downloaded of the virtual machine to the real machine with a flash memory or similar something.

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Video files have no sound when copied from camera to PC
by rarathornton / March 1, 2009 3:55 AM PST

Crazy stuff. They have sound as I play them back on my TV and camera. Yes, I checked all the sound settings on my PC. I noticed I have two files for each video file. They play fine in Windows Media Player. Any ideas?

Also, the software totally hosed my machine. I didnt see all the posts until too late. I have to get re-imaged it is so bad.

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Return it or exchange it if you can
by heysavoy / December 29, 2008 11:15 PM PST
In reply to: SDR-H60

I used PRISM as suggested but found it to be time consuming and I also lost some of the quality when it was converted.

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HELP!!!!
by heysavoy / December 28, 2008 9:56 AM PST

You say you downloaded PRISM but can you give me some more details on exactly which PRISM pragram you chose and how it works? I have family video on my Panasonic SDR-H60 video camera and I keep getting the same error message . . . Microsoft has encountered a problem and must shut down (or something to that effect). How do I get my files copied to my hard drive? I tried Program Compatibility Wizard and it don't work. I would sure appreciate any help someone can offer.

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convert mov to wmv
by mtjimi / January 27, 2009 4:22 PM PST
In reply to: HELP!!!!

I use AVI video converter, wishing I would have gotten a different camera though.

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.mov?
by chickenorfish / January 27, 2009 10:28 PM PST

this is intresting because the files are .mod, not .mov. plus , .mod are just .mpg (mpeg2 aka dvd) files, not quicktime. when you convert them to wmv you will lose quality

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It's version 1, ...
by Papa Echo / October 26, 2008 1:50 PM PDT

...so even if it works, there will likely be bugs.... For XP users, try the "Program Comptibility Wizard" at Start\Programs\Accessories\

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There's now another point of view from Panasonic
by elf.elf.baby / October 26, 2008 10:34 PM PDT
In reply to: It's version 1, ...

I heard again from the email people. I will paste it here. (But I found that the main reason I wanted the Panasonic, thinking it was unique, was untrue. It was the pre-record function. Casio has it in some of their STILL cameras, calling it variously 'prerecord movie and 'past movie'. I made some compromises and got an EX-V8, which I'm vetting now. Oh well. The Z80 thru Z300 have it too.
Here's the email:

Thank you for your interest in Panasonic products. The VideoCam Suite
software is compatible with the latest service pack. A message will appear
that states it is not compatible with the service pack, but will allow you
to continue to install. The software will install and operate as intended.

We hope this information is helpful to you.

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I should add..
by elf.elf.baby / October 26, 2008 10:35 PM PDT

Sorry, didn't mention specifically that Casio's prerecord is on their videoing that the still cameras do.

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Further addition..
by elf.elf.baby / October 29, 2008 9:43 AM PDT
In reply to: I should add..

Guess what you can't do with the Casio pre-record function on the EX-V8 or the Z models? (not sure about the Ex-f1 or the ex-fh20, the latter's manual has disappeared off the web site). You cannot turn off auto-power-save. Your camera will power down in your choice of 1, 2, or 5 minutes, no matter what, unless you operate it, or posssssibly, just nudge it. Useless for waiting for those whales to jump. No napping at the beach, no losing yourself in a book. Nope, you have to move the camera around, or something. Isn't that special?

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Looks like someone got Panasonics attention
by densnet / February 17, 2009 3:30 PM PST

Panasonic has written an update for this. Located at ..
http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/soft/download/videocamstuite_v10.html
"Update installer information Objective users Users using the VideoCam Suite(supplied with the SDR-H40/H50/H60/H280,VDR-D50) Objective software VideoCam Suite V.1.0 Registration name/volume VCSUpdateV10L021.exe(12,886,574 byte) Version 1.0L021 Date Updated 19/5/2008"
Hope you didn't throw the CD away. Actually if the non-functional software is still in your computer This download will update that. I updated it on a Toshiba Satellite. Played with HDD and 2Gig SD files.
Cam-On Have fun.
densnet

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VideoCam Suite with Aspire One
by tranalli / April 12, 2009 5:37 AM PDT

Bought the camcorder and computer to video document a trip to Alaska. First, the software doesn't work with the max resolution the Aspire can reach. Downloaded the Prism Video Converter and was able to convert the .MOD file to be usable in Windows MovieMaker. Definitely a loss in the video quality, though (as mentioned elsewhere in this thread). I'll definitely have to do the less critical post-production on a separate workstation on my return.

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Videocam Suite 2.0
by pkaturner700 / September 1, 2010 12:45 AM PDT

Yay! Panasonic have finally released a new version of Videocam Suite. But the only problem is that I cant edit other .mpg files. Any Help?

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